Animals, News, World Problems

Ocean Acidification Threatens to Destroy Shellfish Populations

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Mollusks such as oysters, clams and scallops are highly vulnerable to the increasing acidification of the world’s oceans. A new study concluded that the acidification is so intense that the mollusks aren’t able to properly produce a hard shell, putting them in peril.

Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

How climate change will shape New York City in the next 100 years

statue of libery

The most populated city in the United States is already experiencing its fair share of floods, hurricanes and heat waves, but these will only intensify in years to come. According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change by the 2080s there could be an 8.8-degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature from 1980s levels and as many as six heat waves a year or three times as many as in the 1980s. Sea levels could also rise by as much as six feet, pressing the municipality for swift adaptive measures.

Climate, News, Pollution, World Problems

Short-lived chemicals that burn a hole in the ozone layer are on the rise

Nasa graphic showing the extent of the ozone hole over Antarctica Public domain

After scientists discovered a huge hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic, an emergency UN panel banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in 1987. These build up in the atmosphere, react with the triple oxygen molecule and break it down. Since then, ozone has thankfully replenished, thought it might take decades before it reverts to pre-1980 levels. Progress is slow because there are still some plants through out the world who illegally use CFCs (the stuff that used to go into refrigerants or deodorants), but also because there are other ozone-depleting chemicals out there – some recognized, others new and extremely dangerous. One class of chemicals that has been allowed in the industry since the Montreal Protocol, despite the danger it posses to ozone, is made up of so-called ‘very short-lived substances’ (VSLS) which breakup in under six months. A new study, however, found that these have dramatically increased over the past couple of years and despite their short reaction times, these could prove to be extremely dangerous.

News, Psychology, World Problems

Dont’t Read the Comments – They Make You Mistrust the Real Experts

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If you claim you’re a doctor online, even without providing any proof, people may trust you more than the CDC. A new study has found that online comments have as much power as statements issues by health institutions – and in some cases, even more.

Climate, News, World Problems

Climate change reversal hacks shunned in report. “Wake up and cut emission!”

geological hacks

Mitigating climate change is on the agenda of every world government, but somehow little is done to curb global warming. Echoing a quick-fix approach to life so predominantly engraved in modern culture, some are considering sweeping climate change under the proverbial rug. These so called geo-engineering methods aim to fix climate change by altering the environment, but those ideas that are actually practical today only mask the effects and do nothing to treat the symptoms, a new report signed by 16 top scientists reads. The authors used this opportunity to make an appeal for reducing global emissions, else we might be forced to actually engineer the planet with unforeseeable consequences.

Climate, Feature Post, Great Pics, World Problems

How climate change is turning Mongolia into a museum, Photographer tells the story

mongolia desert

Climate change is a threat to all life and vegetation here on Earth, but some places are worse off than others. Take Mongolia for instance. Over the past 30 years, a quarter of the country’s surface has turned into a desert, while 850 lakes and 2,000 rivers have dried out. This rapid desertification has severely disrupted habitats, making it very difficult for both man and beast to adapt. Even to this day, 25% of Mongolians living in the country are thought to be nomadic, still holding on to ancient traditions from the times when the great Khans swept the world and made it tremble, from Beijing to Rome. In the face of such diversity, the Mongolian people risk losing their heritage and way of life, as they’ve come to know it for thousands of years.

World Problems

David Attenborough – We are a plague on the Earth

Sir David Attenborough. Photo: PA

Sir David Frederick Attenborough is an English broadcaster and naturalist, with a voice recognized by millions. In an interview from 2013, he used his well known voice to speak against the damage that people are causing to the planet. He said that we need to drastically limit our population growth, as we are currently acting like a plague upon the planet.

Environment, News, World Problems

“Global Calculator” shows we can all live better while reducing CO2 emissions

calculator

The living standard of everybody in the world can be increased while also reducing CO2 emissions and limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius – that’s the conclusion of The Global Calculator, a new free, interactive tool developed by UK scientists in collaboration with organisations from India, US, China,and Europe. Calculating the future The Global Calculator can be used by businesses and researchers

News, World Problems

Why the Japanese government is desperately trying to convince citizens to have sex

n early modern Japan, thousands of sexually explicit paintings, prints, and illustrated books with texts were produced, euphemistically called ‘spring pictures’ (shunga). Official life in this period was governed by strict Confucian laws, but private life was less controlled in practice. Image: Sode no maki (Handscroll for the Sleeve), print artist Torii Kiyonaga, about 1785 (detail).

The land of the rising sun can be extremely confusing to foreigners, but one thing’s for sure: you gotta hand it to the Japanese for being creative. In the face of its worse demographic crisis to date – 1 in 4 people are over 65 years old – the government is experiment with all sorts of methods to boost birth rates. Now,